All about Voicemail

BT Answer 1571 is an answering service that answers calls when you're away from the phone or engaged on another call. You'll know you have a message in your mailbox if you get an interrupted dial tone. This service stores up to 20 messages and lets you record your own personal greeting, changing it as often as you like.

What is Voicemail?

Voicemail is an answering service that answers calls when you're away from the phone or engaged on another call. You'll know you have a message in your mailbox if you get an interrupted dial tone. This service also includes the following features:

  • Record your own personal greeting for callers to hear, changing it as often as you like
  • Stores up to 30 messages
  • Messages stored for 6 months or 30 days if you've listened to them
  • Access your messages when you're away from home. All you need to do is set a PIN by choosing option 3 on the Voicemail menu. Then to check your messages when you're out and about, just dial your home number, press star, then enter your PIN when Voicemail answers the call
  • Link your Voicemail to your mobile - you need to set up a PIN from your home phone. Once you're set up, we'll send a text whenever you receive a voicemail

BT Call Protect

Voicemail also includes BT Call Protect - a new service that will send nuisance and unwanted calls to a junk voicemail. It helps to stop the worst offending nuisance calls, as well as providing you with the control to stop other unwanted calls. It’s simple and easy to manage.

To find out more information on this service and how to manage it, go to >

By having BT Call Protect with Voicemail, you'll also receive two extra features that work alongside your personal voicemail service. And don’t worry; your Voicemail service will carry on working as normal. Here’s what you’ll get:

  • VIP – Make sure your important calls are never sent to your junk voicemail, irrespective of your other settings
  • Do Not Disturb - If you don’t want to be disturbed by callers at certain times of the day, you can use your 'Do Not Disturb' feature

Where available, BT Call Protect will be added to new orders of Voicemail. You'll receive a user guide with further information detailing how you can manage the service.

How much does Voicemail cost?

£4.03 a month.

How do I get Voicemail?

To order Voicemail, please go to and click the Change your calling features button or simply dial 1571 from your home phone.

You can easily add or remove Calling Features online >

How do I know if I have a new message?

When you have a new message you will hear an interrupted dial tone on the phone line. You then simply dial 1571 to hear it.

How many messages can Voicemail store?

Voicemail will store up to 30 messages at any one time. The messages will be stored for 6 months or 30 days if you've already listened to them, after which they will automatically be deleted.

How do I record a personal greeting on my line?

  1. Dial 1571 from your home phone
  2. Press '2' from the main menu to set a personal greeting
  3. Then press '1' to record a personal greeting or 2 to choose the standard greeting
  4. After pressing '1', you'll be able to record a greeting after the tone. Press square (#) to finish
  5. You'll be able to listen to what you've recorded before deciding whether to use it, or to record another version. To cancel recording and return to the greeting menu, press star (*)'

How do I cancel Voicemail?

You can easily cancel Voicemail online. Go to and click the Manage my calling features button. This will start an online order process. Put in your home number and postcode and confirm you're the BT account holder to continue.

The next screen will show any calling features that are currently on your line. To cancel Voicemail, scroll down and click the "Remove all my messaging features" radio button. Alternatively, if you'd like to keep BT Call Protect, click that radio button instead.

Click Continue to complete the cancellation order

You can also manage all your calling features (including ordering, upgrading and cancelling them) at

How do I know when I've got Voicemail on my line?

After ordering, Voicemail will be in place within two working days. You can check whether it's on your line by dialling 1571 and listening for the mailbox greeting.


How do I access my messages?

Once the service is activated, simply dial 1571 from your home phone for your Voicemail mailbox.

How can I pick up my messages when I'm away from home?

Dial 1571 from your home phone and select Option 3 to choose your own personal 4 digit PIN.

When you're away from home (in the UK or abroad) dial your home number and wait for Voicemail to answer. Then press the * key and enter your PIN to access your messages.

BT Text SMS alerting feature

If your mobile is linked to Call Minder, you'll get a text message whenever someone leaves a voicemail on your messaging service.

To access your messages, dial your landline number from your linked mobile. When Call Minder answers, press # then enter your PIN.

To set up or cancel this feature call 0800 389 5660, which links to a fully automated service. You'll pay the standard rate for BT Text from landlines for the SMS message sent to your mobile.

How does the Voicemail Message Alert work?

If you miss a call because you're on the phone, Voicemail will take a message and ring you shortly after you've hung up or logged off and tell you that you have a message.

What happens if my mailbox is full?

Callers hear the message: "Sorry, this mailbox is full, it cannot accept any more messages."

And when you dial 1571 you'll hear: "Welcome to Voicemail. Voicemail is completely full. Please delete any unwanted messages".

How do Voicemail and Call Diversion work together?

When you have both Call Diversion and Voicemail and choose to activate Call Diversion, you will not hear the usual interrupted dial tone to indicate that the diversion is active. You'll only hear a change in dial tone when there is a new message on Voicemail. 

Does BT 1471 update when a call is answered by Voicemail?

BT 1471 will update in the normal way if:

  • Voicemail picks up the call when there is no reply
  • you have Call Waiting active and are engaged on a call but choose not to take the second call

However, please note that 1471 won't update if a call switches to Voicemail when the line is busy.

What's the maximum length of time for a single message?

The maximum length of time for a single message is two minutes.

I've deleted a message by mistake, can I get it back?

Unfortunately once the message has been deleted, there's no way of retrieving it.

If I set up a Reminder Call and choose not to answer it, does the Reminder Call divert to my Voicemail?

If you have Voicemail and you set up a reminder call and then don't answer it, the call will not be diverted to the answering service.

How does Call Waiting work with Voicemail?

If you have Voicemail and are on a call when a new incoming call arrives, an intrusion tone will advise you that a new call is waiting. The caller will hear the Call Waiting announcement, and, if you decide not to take the new call, after 21 seconds it will be diverted to the Voicemail service.

Is my alarm system compatible with Voicemail?

Some social alarm and burglar alarm equipment may not be compatible with Voicemail. Please check with your alarm supplier.

Can callers hear different personalised greetings?

No. Callers will hear the same greeting regardless of whether the line is busy or unanswered.

Can I change the amount of rings before Voicemail kicks in?

You you can. Please sign into your My BT account to manage this, or sign up to My BT via 


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